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ORC Rules On No Contest

Published: July 15, 2008 6:00 pm ET

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The Ontario Racing Commission has ruled on Friday's OSS elimination at Flamboro Downs which was deemed a 'no contest' due to an accident.

An ORC panel ruled today that the top three finishers -- Star Gazed, Take My Pulse and Grin Goddess -- are eligible for the July 18 final; and the fourth-place finisher, Topaz Seelster, will be eligible to the consolation.

The ruling also states that the four aforementioned horses will earn their normal respective splits of the purse, with fifth-place monies to be divided amongst those horses which did not cause any interference during the race (Putnam Jordan, Spoiled Beach and Shellace).

The Gold Final and the Gold Consolation draws will take place at 10:00 a.m. tomorrow morning at the Flamboro Race Office.

The ORC ruling appears below in its entirety.

Standardbred Licensees John Kopas, Dave Poley, John Pentland, Jim Wellwood, Jamie Bardoel and Scott McNiven appealed Ruling SB 37355 wherein the Judges ruled that the 4th Race on July 11, 2008, at Flamboro Downs was a "No Contest" in accordance with Rule 22.33 of the Rules of Standardbred Racing.

On July 15, 2008, a Panel of the Commission consisting of Chair Rod Seiling convened to hear the Appeal.

Maureen Harquail appeared as Counsel for the Administration. Louis Liebenau appeared on behalf of John Kopas and John Pentland. Dave Poley and Jim Wellwood were present and appeared on their own behalf. Jamie Bardoel and Scott McNiven were not present.

Upon hearing the evidence of Judge John Harper and on reviewing the videotape of the race and the Exhibits filed, and on hearing the submissions of Counsel for the Administration and the Appellants, the Panel allowed the appeal and ordered the following:

  • i. Race #4 on July 11, 2008 at Flamboro Downs is a charted race;
  • ii. STAR GAZED, TAKE MY PULSE and GRIN GODDESS (top 3 finishers) are eligible for the Gold Final to be raced on July 18, 2008, at Flamboro Downs;
  • iii. TOPAZ SEELSTER (4th place) will be eligible for the consolation race;
  • iv. STAR GAZED, TAKE MY PULSE, GRIN GODDESS and TOPAZ SEELSTER will earn their normal respective splits of the purse with 5th place monies to be divided amongst those horses which did not cause any interference during the race and which did not finish, specifically PUTNAM JORDAN, SPOILED BEACH and SHELLACE.

The Panel's oral decision is attached to this Ruling.

REASONS FOR DECISION

After carefully considering the testimony and reviewing the evidence, the Panel rules to uphold the appeal of the appellants, licensees, John Kopas, Dave Poley, John Pentland, Jim Wellwood, Jamie Bardoel and Scott McNiven.

It rules that there was a third option as Judge Harper agreed under cross-examination. Therefore the race is determined as under Rule 22.32, a "No Contest" for those horses which were prevented from a having a fair chance due to an exceptional circumstance. Therefore, the race #4 for OSS purposes is a charted race. The first 3 finishers, STAR GAZED, TAKE MY PULSE and GRIN GODDESS are eligible for the Gold Final to be raced this Friday, July 18 at Flamboro Downs. The 4th place finisher, TOPAZ SEELSTER, will be eligible for the consolation race and points.

In terms of purse monies, the top four horses will earn their normal respective split of the purse with the 5th place monies to be divided amongst those horses which did not cause any interference during the race, those being #3 PUTNAM JORDAN, #4 SPOILED BEACH, and #8 SHELLACE. The rationale for this decision is Rule 18.03. These horses are not eligible for the consolation.

The Panel recognizes the Judges had a very difficult task and applauds them for their concern in protecting the public and the health and welfare of the horses. With the fullness of time, it is easier to judge fairness as it relates to courses of action.

The Panel does not consider rescheduling the Panel and re-racing the 4th race a viable option.

DATED this 15th day of July 2008.

Rod Seiling
Chair

Click here to view a copy of the ruling.

Click here to view Flamboro's charted lines from Friday.


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